Trevor Cook, one of Europe’s most respected patent lawyers, is on the move. After three decades at the London office of Bird & Bird, he’s relocating to New York and joining Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

Cook doesn’t have an official start date, but he expects to begin working at Wilmer in early 2014. “There’s some negotiation to be had with Bird & Bird about that,” Cook said in an interview.

At Wilmer, Cook will continue doing what has made him a star in London: formulating worldwide patent strategies for clients — particularly those in the life sciences — and representing companies in high-stakes patent lawsuits and arbitrations.

Cook said there’s a personal reason for his move to New York, but it also makes a great deal of sense for his career. “The focus of IP strategy seems very much to have moved to the States in all sectors, especially the life sciences sector,” Cook said. “That even goes for clients that are based in Europe….I’m very keen to be at the center of the decision-making.”

Wilmer is no stranger to cross-border patent strategy, having long represented Apple Inc. in its global patent fight with Samsung Electronics Co. The firm also handles high-stakes matters for pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer Inc. “Wilmer gives me a tremendous platform,” Cook told us.

In Cook, Wilmer gains a highly regarded IP expert. Cook joined Bird & Bird in 1974 and became a partner in 1981. His professional accomplishments including helping Pfizer defeat challenges to its patents on blockbuster drugs like Lipitor. He’s published several books on patent law, including “A Users’ Guide to Patents,” and has served as chairman of the British Copyright Council. Intellectual Asset Management Magazine has has called “perhaps the [U.K.'s] most renowned IP litigator.”

“Our cases are becoming increasingly global in their dimension, and we want to continue to grow our practice in a global way,” said Wilmer partner Mark Selwyn, who co-chairs the firm’s IP litigation group. “The opportunity for Trevor to join our team is something we eagerly embraced.”